The Congress decision to bite the Telangana bullet has jolted pro-Vidarbha leaders in the party out of their slumber. The Congress Working Committee meeting on Tuesday saw AICC general secretaries Mukul Wasnik and Gurudas Kamat raising the issue of statehood for Vidarbha by bifurcating Maharashtra.
While the party indicated it was in no hurry to carve out separate states,it did mention the reference to Vidarbha in the first state reorganisation commission report and said the resolution of the Congress Working Committee in 2001 for formation of second state reorganisation commission still stands.
Sources said Wasnik argued that a separate state of Vidarbha was a long pending demand of the people of the region. Kamat is learnt to have echoed his views.
Going a step further,senior Congress leader from Vidarbha region Vilas Muttemwar wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi making a pitch for carving out a state of Vidarbha. “Now when the Telangana state has been agreed to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh,people of Vidarbha will have genuine resentment if their similar demand for creation of separate Vidarbha state is not simultaneously agreed to,” he said in his letter.
Briefing the media about the decision of the Congress Working Committee,AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh indicated the party was in mood to concede similar demands for creation of new states. His comments assume significance as the Congress decision is expected to re-ignite demands for creation of states like Gorkhaland and Bodoland.
“States are not formed just on the basis of agitations. There has to be a study of the historical background,” Singh said. Demands for separate states are not limited to Gorkhaland,Bodoland or Vidarbha. There is a demand for trifurcating Uttar Pradesh. UPA constituent and RLD leader Ajit Singh has been passionately arguing for creating Harit Pradesh carving out the western part of Uttar Pradesh.
Digvijaya Singh insisted that the demand for Telangana cannot be compared to others because there was historical background to it and pointed out that it has reference in the recommendations of the first State Reorganisation Commission which is still relevant. On the question of Article 371 (D) of Constitution which grants special status,he said the Cabinet will look into its relevance once Telangana is formed.